Archive for January 28th, 2019

January 28, 2019

Centro Cubano , Madrid!

And to see if I finally end this nostalgic run on Madrid! So much weight, hard to do it but I must. This is a city that pulls you, attract you , trapped you, and won’t let go. Its a vibrant open funny, lively, friendly city for all. Oh well can’t say enough of it, you have read me you know it.

As my roots are all over with many years in different countries as citizen of  Spain, USA, France,and working time in Brazil and Nigeria, the one I was born long ago in another era was Cuba. When i came over to lived in Madrid in 1970, the place was humming with Cuban exiles from the communist dictatorship existing there, and still unfortunately.  We had our little huddle, talks, souvenirs, nostalgia in itself by coming to this place for lunch or dinner. The poorer Cubans were given free meals by the owners!

I like to tell you about an institution in Madrid as the oldest Cuban restaurant in Europe, founded in 1967. It finanly closed its doors somewhere in 2012 due to the family line not willing to continue. I heard a nephew or in law did open another one not far from it at Calle Ortega y Gasset, 69 , call El Centro Cubano. I am talking about the Centro Cubano or Cuban center restaurant at Calle Claudio Coello, 41, Salamanca district,metro Serrano line 4. The new restaurant is by Metro Listo line 4 too. The newer restaurant I have not been yet so cannot tell nothing, and cannot tell if still open.


Centro Cubano ent to dining rooms credit Centro Cubano photo

The old Centro Cubano founded in 1967 was the oldest Cuban restaurant in Europe. Since then it has been a faithful ambassador of Cuban food and cocktails in Madrid. It had two rooms with capacity for more than 200 people, a private room for celebrations and events and an art gallery. In its specialties it had the Ropa Vieja (old clothes)  with rice and beans and the fried cow(vaca frita) with congrí (black beans colored rice) and tostones (green plantains). Among its entrees were well known its tostones stuffed, tamales(corn tamales)  and ladybugs of plantain. It had a wide variety of Cuban desserts like the guava shells,  and the sweets of coconut, milk and grapefruit. In its ample bar were prepared those that are considered by many the best mojitos, besides flavor daiquiris , Cuba libre, and other cocktails like the piña colada. At noon, from Monday to Friday there were, also a menu of the day Mediterranean style in addition to the Cuban food.


centro cubano dining room credit Centro Cubano photo

It was a dandy , my dear late mom Gladys, used to take me there for lunch. I used to come sometimes with local friends for lunch as well and introduce them to the food. Those were the days of my nostalgic Madrid early 70’s. Of course, things have change today. Many of the old places are no longer, and the city is with more people, but the aura of its air just been there is enormous and always ready looking forward to go. In a sense, Madrid is my Spain, even if by blood I am from Candelaria and Pajarà in Tenerife, Canary islands.

This post, of course, its just for the memories,the nostalgia of my Madrid to record in my blog. As said, the resto is no longer there, the family opened a new one, maybe time for me to try it and compare with my memoirs!!! Enjoy Madrid!

This is some historical information I found in Yelp my favorite guide posted in my blogroll bottom of my main blog page. YELP on the Old Restaurant Centro Cubano

And again from my favorite blogroll webpages the shown Cuban restaurants in Madrid (again not tried any)

Tourist office of Madrid on Cubans restos

El Tenedor, fork resto site on Cuban restos in Madrid

YELP site on Cuban restos in Madrid

And remember, happy travels , good health, and many cheers to all!!!




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